Archive for December, 2005

Go Skins!I understand that my mother-in-law is now reading this blog on a semi-regular basis (Hi, Mom!). I love my in-laws dearly, and I’m super excited to be spending Christmas with them. That being said, there is a problem.

My in-laws have a thing for New York sports. Which is fine. I understand taking pride in your hometown. They have a special passion for the New York Yankees (who seem to be assembling yet another all-star team with no pitching). I’m even a good sport and continue to attend our annual Campbell/Murnane trip to an Orioles/Yankees game at Camden yards, even though we’re up to something like 12 straight losses for the home team when I’m there with Kate’s family. I kid you not!

The problem with this year’s trip to New York lies with Simon. Simon has more Yankees paraphenalia in his little room than he knows what to do with. I understand this desire to try and sway Simon to the Dark Side, and I certainly don’t begrudge them their grandparently doting, from which we have benefited greatly. And, for the most part, I try to be pretty good-humored about it. He’s got his Orioles and Nationals outfits as well, and he’ll know who I root for when he gets old enough, but I try not to get super hung-up on baseball.

But football is a different matter. Football is SACRED. My father-in-law is a Giants fan. A BIG giants fan. I, on the other hand, am a Redskins fan. A BIG Redskins fan. And I will certainly raise any child of mine to be a Redskins fan. It is, believe it or not, important to me. Last year, Kate had the good fortune to get Skins/Giants tickets from a coworker, and he and I went and saw the Redskins take the Giants out behind the woodshed for a 31-7 shellacking. In their first meeting this season, the Giants returned the favor with a 36-0 rout in NY. They meet for the second time this year in DC at 1PM on Christmas Eve. The game has playoff implications for both teams.

Simon looks dashing in both his Redskins and his Giants outfits. So I’ve been instructed that if I bring the Redskins outfit with me, I’d BETTER DARN WELL bring the Giants outfit too. Okay, maybe those exact words weren’t used, but that’s the sentiment. Of course, the middle-ground would be to place him in a Christmas outfit that day and avoid the whole issue. The problem is, he’s growing so fast we think he’s already outgrown his Christmas outfits! Slow it down there, buddy!

So I’d like to know what you, the Internet, think about this little dilemma. Do I, as a parent, have the right to indoctrinate and brainwash my child into whatever sports fandom I choose? Should I be making a stop by Babies R’ Us tonight in a desperate attempt to find a Christmas sleeper in which Simon can spend Christmas Eve? Is this the silliest and most pointless dilemma you’ve ever heard of, and you think I should just GET A GRIP? Any thoughts are welcome, although if you write anything favorable regarding the Giants be prepared for me to dismiss you out of hand, no matter how convincing your argument may be.

I am not a writer. Well, I suppose I am a writer. Just not a trained writer. Don’t get me wrong — I make an honest effort to use proper grammar, check my spelling, and generally assemble words in a manner that make them easy to read. I envy people for whom writing seems to come naturally. I just haven’t been formally trained in doing so.

However, in this, the era of the Throbbing Brain (i.e., the Internet), there is no shortage of articles out there designed to help aspiring writers like me. Actually I’m not really sure that I’m an “aspiring” writer, as that would imply that there is some overarching goal of the words that appear in this space. Which there isn’t.

I recently stumbled upon an article entitled Writing Gooder that I thought gave a nice summary of ways in which bloggers can improve their most important online skill: writing. While I definitely recognize the need for improved diction and grammar, I thought the section about adding detail was particularly fascinating. The author observes that many writers heavily rely on translating one sense (sight) into words, while often neglecting the others. I definitely fall prey to this trap, but honestly feel a bit silly talking about how things smell, taste, sound, and hear. My mastery of the english language is at a level where I feel like I sound silly trying to put these senses into words.

But if there is a time of year that lends itself to exploring the other senses, it is certainly this time of year. The holidays are an oppportunity to feast on a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. So when you’re spending time with your family, hanging out by the Christmas tree, tucking in to that scrumptious Christmas feast, or soaking in the hot tub (as I hope to do a fair amount of), take a moment to appreciate it with all of your senses, and then share it with the rest of the Internet! Apparently it makes for good reading.

Pee-pee Tepee!During the course of any given day, I invariably find myself thinking “hey, I should blog this”. Inevitably, when I find a moment at home to sit down and blog, I end up drawing a complete blank on those items which previously seemed to be such good fodder for the blog. So, in an effort to provide you, the Music-Slave.com blog-reading public, with more frequent and more interesting updates, I’ve started a list. The list contains several items that I stumbled upon recently that would make for good blog topics. At least, they interest me. That doesn’t necessarily equate to them interesting you, but I suppose that’s part of the appeal of this inherently self-centered medium.

Anyway, so I’ve got this list. Of stuff. That you may or may not be interested in. This post has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of the items on that list. Oh well. Such is life. You’ll have to wait until another day to find out what’s on the the list. The topic of this post comes from a link that Laura sent me over a week ago. It is, get ready for it, the Pee-pee tepee. Yeah, you read that right. The Pee-pee tepee.

Changing boy babies, as I have found, is often an adventure. I’ve heard stories of me zapping my dad in the face within days of my own birth. The cold air hits the nethers and it’s just natural for baby boy to let ‘er rip in whatever direction Mr. Weewee (yes, I just said ‘Mr. Weewee’) is aiming. If you will allow me a moment of fatherly pride, Simon has managed to hit our stove from kitchen sink during one of his very first baths. But I digress. The Pee-pee tepee is a re-usable cloth tepee designed to shield the rest of the world from unfortunate diaper-changing incidents such as these.

While enormously amusing, I question it’s effectiveness. Kate and I use a washcloth for the same purpose, and to great effect. However, Simon likes to squirm, as babies are apt to do, and even the washcloth requires the occasional repositioning. I can imagine that the pee-pee tepee wouldn’t stay put for any appreciable length of time. Not to mention that if the kid has any velocity, he might put your eye out. So if you have a baby boy and income to burn, feel free to purchase this must-have item. Just make sure you wear your lab goggles.

Peter Across the StreetPeter is the brother of my brother’s friend, Patrick. He lives across the street from my family. Peter is, dare I say, a big fan of my and Kate’s blogs. At least, I presume that he must be, because he will occasionally berate me for not posting cute Simon pictures.

Peter and his mother, cleverly known as “Peter Across the Street’s Mom”, will also make infrequent appearances in our comments, which is always a pleasant surprise. Given their minor celebrity status, I thought it might please all the (3) readers of this blog to see the cuteness that is Peter Across the street. Did I say “cuteness”? Of course I meant “dashingly handsomeness”.

The quality of the picture is terrible, unfortunately, because I think my scanner is all dusty, but it’ll have to do. And speaking of photos, Kate uploaded more cute pictures of Simon to our photostream. Check out the cuteness.

It is my honor to out yet another new blogger. I worked with Margaret for nearly 6 years, and when she left to go to grad school, I gave her the link to my Web site. That was in September. At the time, she said she was “anti-blog”. I never really investigated what she meant by that, because there are plenty of reasons not to bare your soul on the Internet. But I was unsure whether she meant she disliked blog as a whole, or just didn’t want to keep her own.

After a little while, I noticed the occasional comment from her popping up here and on Philadelphia Bunnyface’s blog, so I presumed her anti-blog-ness was limited to keeping her own. Either that or graduate school wasn’t keeping her busy enough and she needed to find ways to waste time. Yeah, right.

So I get an email today from a certain anti-blogger fessing up that she has finally given in. That’s right, Meb (as we affectionately call her) has joined the sick and twisted ranks of the blogosphere. So welcome, Meb. I trust that you’ll pitch in and make the Internet an even stranger place!